CAP strategy

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Ddog
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CAP strategy

Post by Ddog »

Awhile back I remember reading about someone that developed a "leaky Cap" strategy.
Does anyone use this? If so, can you explain it? If you have success with another
strategy, I'd love to hear about it. Currently I just use planes for High Altitude CAP
and another squadron at a lower altitude, usually 15k. I don't seem to get very good results.

Thanks again for any help!!
I'd rather be lucky than good.

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Lokasenna
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RE: CAP strategy

Post by Lokasenna »

I think "leaky CAP" is detrimental and should only be used in specific situations, and it requires close monitoring if you are trying to use it for more than 1 day at a time.
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Korvar
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RE: CAP strategy

Post by Korvar »

It helps to differentiate between PBEM (human opponent) and single-player games against the AI.

PBEM is vastly more complex as playing against a human opponent introduces the full spectrum of game theory (as in the academic discipline) into the equation. "It depends" is the controlling phrase in this context. As an oversimplification, PBEM CAP strategy tends to be a "race to the top"; that is, fighters are often flown as high as possible and are often artificially restricted by house rules in an effort to help curb this tendency. It doesn't mean that multi-layered CAP doesn't have a place in PBEM - just that there is pressure to go higher due to the advantages given to those at higher altitude by the game engine. You'll often find yourself in a "paper, rock, scissors" situation where the enemy adopts strategy "A", so you counteract with strategy "B", which causes your opponent to react with "C", and so on.

Against the AI, things are more straightforward and tend to parallel historical practices better than PBEM. The first thing to recognize is that battle reports will tell you at what altitude(s) the attacking planes approached. You want to try to be above all attacking planes while still covering the altitude "bands" - that is, to not have an altitude differential so great that your CAP fighters are unable to react in time to stop approaching attackers. So:

1) Gain an altitude advantage wherever possible
2) Don't leave any gaps in coverage in terms of altitude
3) Everything is a compromise; try to stack the odds in your favor ahead of time, but realize that rarely will things be "perfect" - do the best you can with what you have

In the context of a carrier battle, you are typically defending against both dive bombers and torpedo bombers. Dive bombers must fly between 10,000 and 14,000ft in order to conduct a dive bombing attack (i.e. have the most accuracy). Torpedo bombers can approach at a similar altitude, but of course their primary attack is conducted at minimum altitude. So a default strategy could be to have CAP layers at 15k and 6k ft. The top CAP at 15k will cover the incoming dive bombers and the CAP at 6k will cover the torpedo bombers. What you don't want to do is to maximize CAP at one band and ignore the other. You could throw up your entire CAP let's say at ~17k to try to maximize the advantage attacking incoming dive bombers at 12k - but you're pretty much guaranteed to miss the vast majority of attackers under 10k, including (and especially) the torpedo bombers. The quickest way to be on the receiving end of a devastating attack is to allow enemy planes to approach completely unopposed (see my comments on disruption below).

It quickly becomes apparent that building a strong CAP in the context of carrier ops must be balanced against the escort provided to your own offensive air ops. It also becomes obvious why mutually supporting air bases (whether they are carriers or land bases) are such a powerful doctrine to abide by. Various fighter squadrons can be dedicated to either the defensive or offensive mission, and the types of aircraft can be allocated in such a way to take advantage of their strengths (high altitude fighters up high, lower altitude but perhaps more maneuverable fighters lower). Attacking aircraft can be concentrated at multiple altitude bands in such a way to saturate and overwhelm the enemy's CAP.

Don't forget that disrupting an enemy attack is the 1st order of business; destroying the attackers is a bonus. A bonus you should strive for, but not at the expense of disruption. Disruption is why the 5" and 40mm AAA guns are so useful even though you'll have fewer of them than the same ship loaded with .50cal, 20mm, and 1.1" guns. 5" and 40mm guns have a chance to disrupt the attack before it is successful whereas the others are deadliest when the enemy has already released their ordinance. Hence why the smaller AAA are referred to as "revenge weapons".

Finally, I'm not familiar with the "leaky CAP" strategy, but I'm sure somebody else here will be able to explain it.
Aurorus
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RE: CAP strategy

Post by Aurorus »

ORIGINAL: Ddog

Awhile back I remember reading about someone that developed a "leaky Cap" strategy.
Does anyone use this? If so, can you explain it? If you have success with another
strategy, I'd love to hear about it. Currently I just use planes for High Altitude CAP
and another squadron at a lower altitude, usually 15k. I don't seem to get very good results.

Thanks again for any help!!


¨Leaky CAP¨ is setting a range for CAP greater than 0 so as to cover adjacent hexes and respond to raids on those hexes. ¨Leaky CAP¨ can be effective in certain specific situations. As an example, CAP tends to respond to ¨action¨ when set to a range greater than 1, but this reaction is often very late in arriving. So, this CAP often fails to intercept the original strike, but often gathers for a second strike. If you suspect one fighter sweep ahead of a bombing raid, ¨Leaky CAP¨ will tend to focus your CAP on the bombing raid, rather than the sweep. However, a few of your ¨leaky CAP¨ fighters will be on-station in this adjacent hex and find themselves badly outnumbered and probably destroyed by the sweep.

As to your own difficulties with CAP, there are so many variables that it is hard to give you good advice. Allies or Japanese? How much flak, and what types of flak, are present in the hex? With heavy flak and many 40mm, you can rely on flak more to discourage low altitude attacks and fly your CAP higher, for example. What type of raids and aircraft are you trying to counter: ground attacks, naval attacks? The same CAP strategy that I try to employ against 4-Es is not the same as the strategy that I use against naval attacks, and so forth. Tojos are very different planes than Oscars. In general, detection time reigns sovereign over all other variables. Better detection time equals better CAP. This is almost a universal rule (the only exception being when you do not want to detect a high-flying fighter sweep that will pull your CAP fighters above their manuever bands).
Ddog
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RE: CAP strategy

Post by Ddog »

Thanks for the info and advice. I'm playing PBEM against a Japanese opponent.
I'd rather be lucky than good.

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Sardaukar
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RE: CAP strategy

Post by Sardaukar »

Search for "layered CAP". It works, ideally suitable for couple of different type of fighters.

E.g. if one has best MVR band of 20k and other 15k.
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AW1Steve
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RE: CAP strategy

Post by AW1Steve »

So is the RADAR that crucial for decent CAP? [&:]
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witpqs
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RE: CAP strategy

Post by witpqs »

As far as I recall, 'CAP bleed-over' or 'bleed over' is what people used in the past to describe the phenomenon of CAP sort of oozing from its assigned hex to nearby hexes.

"Leaky CAP" goes back to when air combat algorithms were changed - maybe even in WITP (prior to WITP-AE) - so that CAP intercepts were no longer all or nothing. CAP now is 'leaky' in the sense that some attackers are more likely to break through even in the face of strong CAP. Overall it's more realistic because ships are always at risk of a plane or few getting through CAP.

The purpose of my post is to help people who find some old posts avoid confusion between the two issues. I really don't care which term is used for what. [8D]
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Korvar
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RE: CAP strategy

Post by Korvar »

ORIGINAL: AW1Steve

So is the RADAR that crucial for decent CAP? [&:]


Detection devices are useful such that they decrease the reaction time for the CAP - meaning that more planes are able to scramble, adjust altitude, or otherwise make adjustments to address incoming threats.

I completely skipped it in my earlier explanation... but I was trying to give a simpler beginner heuristic to a complex problem. Detection devices are something to be aware of, but are largely a passive / automatic function from the perspective of the player; in other words, there is no "forgetting to turn on the radar" in WitP:AE other than neglecting to bring a detection device in the first place. It's much easier to make poor altitude or range choices for defending CAP squadrons - both of which are settings which require active player participation. Detection devices tend to be embedded in base LCUs and ships (at least to the tech level as of the date of a game) - which is good enough for a beginner trying to grok the whole concept. Once a player gets a handle on setting altitudes and ranges, then they'll naturally start to wonder why some CAPs are more effective (or not) all else being equal, and the particulars of detection devices then become the focus for further improvements, along with tactical improvements such as mutually supporting bases.

Of course, only air search radar/detection devices would apply to air detection.
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AW1Steve
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RE: CAP strategy

Post by AW1Steve »

ORIGINAL: Korvar

ORIGINAL: AW1Steve

So is the RADAR that crucial for decent CAP? [&:]


Detection devices are useful such that they decrease the reaction time for the CAP - meaning that more planes are able to scramble, adjust altitude, or otherwise make adjustments to address incoming threats.

I completely skipped it in my earlier explanation... but I was trying to give a simpler beginner heuristic to a complex problem. Detection devices are something to be aware of, but are largely a passive / automatic function from the perspective of the player; in other words, there is no "forgetting to turn on the radar" in WitP:AE other than neglecting to bring a detection device in the first place. It's much easier to make poor altitude or range choices for defending CAP squadrons - both of which are settings which require active player participation. Detection devices tend to be embedded in base LCUs and ships (at least to the tech level as of the date of a game) - which is good enough for a beginner trying to grok the whole concept. Once a player gets a handle on setting altitudes and ranges, then they'll naturally start to wonder why some CAPs are more effective (or not) all else being equal, and the particulars of detection devices then become the focus for further improvements, along with tactical improvements such as mutually supporting bases.

Of course, only air search radar/detection devices would apply to air detection.


Thank you. I knew that of course in real life it mattered , but wasn't aware that it actually worked in the game. [&o]
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crsutton
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RE: CAP strategy

Post by crsutton »

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna

I think "leaky CAP" is detrimental and should only be used in specific situations, and it requires close monitoring if you are trying to use it for more than 1 day at a time.

Back in my days as a sailor I caught "leaky CAP" once or twice. Couple of shots of penicillin in my butt and I was good as new...[;)]
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Aurorus
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RE: CAP strategy

Post by Aurorus »

ORIGINAL: Ddog

Thanks for the info and advice. I'm playing PBEM against a Japanese opponent.


As the allies, in general, it is helpful to have 1 CAP unit flying high CAP, above 20k, even in 1942. You must be careful, however, that you do not fly all of your CAP too high, because Japanese planes can fly in below your CAP and very low beneath radar sometimes. This is where Flak concentrations, especially 40mms, are your best friend. Where you have flak concentrations, you can remain higher with your CAP in general and rely on the 40mm to discourage low-altitude attacks. Where you do not have flak concentrations, you will want to layer your CAP to prevent low-altitude stealth strikes (if you opponent is wise to this tactic- some players are not, preferring to just fly higher and higher, always trying to gain an altitude advantage, because it looks good for the first minute on the combat replay to see some diving attacks).

In the early war period, the A6M2 is very dominant in its manuever bands. You want to try to engage A6M2s only when you have a numbers advantage and an altitude advantage. That means flying higher CAP at bases with radar. The Tojo can also be a difficult plane for the allies to counter in 1942, especially if it appears before the 2nd generation P-40. Try to match up your P-38s against the Tojos. It is nice to watch the P-38s sweep Oscars and trash them, but if you are trashing 1st generation Oscars (which will never see action again in the war) while your opponents Tojos are tearing up your P-40s, you are losing the air war.

It is hard to give advice beyond 1942, because IJA and IJN air capabilities and doctrine depend so much on whether you are playing PDU:on or PDU:off and what R&D strategy your opponent has pursued.
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Lokasenna
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RE: CAP strategy

Post by Lokasenna »

ORIGINAL: crsutton

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna

I think "leaky CAP" is detrimental and should only be used in specific situations, and it requires close monitoring if you are trying to use it for more than 1 day at a time.

Back in my days as a sailor I caught "leaky CAP" once or twice. Couple of shots of penicillin in my butt and I was good as new...[;)]

Leaky CAP? I think you might be referring to leaky ClAP...
Ddog
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RE: CAP strategy

Post by Ddog »

Thanks again for all the advice. I love this forum. You all seem to take the time to provide great explanations.

Love the humor as well :-) I fortunately have never experienced "Leaky Cap" but it wasn't for lack of trying.
I'd rather be lucky than good.

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